There’s buzz and activity around podcasting these days. Podcasting isn’t new, but I think it’s become reinvigorated of late with a few players moving things forward. Organized access to content that makes it easier for listeners and producers to connect and easier for advertisers to purchase and track ads, is the force behind this new momentum.
A key company in the space is Podcast One, owned by Norm Pattiz. Founder of Westwood One, Pattiz has the know-how to build a content network, and he’s now applying that skill, and his relationships with celebs, to build a network of podcasts. Launchpad Digital Media is a sister company that sells ads for the network. According to a recent article in Bloomberg News, Podcast One hosts 200 shows in its network and averages 100 million downloads a month.
There are other players in the space as well — Earwolf is a comedy network that also offers producers the tools they need to connect with advertisers through sister company The Midroll. WNYC in New York offers a substantial suite of downloadable audio including Freakonomics hosted by author Stephen Dubner, Radiolab, and Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin. Stitcher’s been around for a few years, organizing access to content and offering a mobile app that has been downloaded 12 million times, and is integrated with several car manufacturers and both IOS and Android phones.
Meanwhile, the elephant in the room when it comes to podcast networks is iTunes, which offers a huge library of downloadable audio but no monetization opportunities for the producers. Which creates a nice opportunity for the other companies who are willing to figure out the measurement and monetization piece.
We’ll be discussing that aspect of podcasting, and a lot more at RAIN Summit NYC on February 5th in New York City on a panel called “The Download on Podcasts.”
The all new RAIN News site has launched, and I’m sure you will want to check it out and then use your social media tools to tell your friends about it. There’s a new url, a new site, and a lot more content there which will be updated throughout the day.
Streaming music may be getting all the attention, but one streaming platform is getting plenty of traction with streaming talk programming. Stitcher lets listeners select from a long list of streamed radio and listen to it when they want, from lots of devices.
The platform has been around for quite awhile, and got a little bit of attention a while back when it landed a big deal with Ford – alongside Pandora, which got all the publicity. Now Stitcher also has deals with GM and Buick as well, with features that include voice activation. Stitcher started out positioning itself as a podcasting tool, which could explain why it stayed lower on the radar than some other streaming tools that have gotten more publicity.
Stitcher takes the best parts of podcasting – the ability to listen to high quality, mainly talk programming, on-demand, and makes it much more convenient by eliminating the need for syncing or updating. Listeners can create “stations” that include all the content they want, and then listen to it when they want. It’s a great option for folks who like to listen online but want more than their music streams.
Stitcher is also a great option for content providers. They’ve just announced a new deal with SModcast, one of the biggest podcast shows on iTunes that will create a 24/7 Internet radio station that will feature live and archived radio programs from Kevin Smith, Jennifer Schwalbach and Jason Mewes and be available on Stitcher’s free mobile and iPad™ apps.
Stitcher pulls content from more than 5000 media sources into a handy streaming tool that auto manufacturers have identified as a basic element for dashboards. That makes it an important platform for content providers who are looking for in-dash exposure as well…
There’s a lot of buzz about Internet radio in cars at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Pandora is in the middle of most of it. They have announced a deal with Pioneer that will make it easier for Pandora listeners to use their iPhones to listen in their cars. Pioneer will market a Pandora enabled navigation system that will detect iPhones and iTouches and put the user’s Pandora settings on the nav screen. The system will cost about $1200.
Ford announced several new apps for its Sync connected in-car communication system. Openbeak will read twitter messages while you drive (and enable steering wheel controls like skipping forward or going back). Stitcher “allows listeners to create personalized, on-demand Internet radio stations with news, talk and entertainment programming. Within the Stitcher app, users choose the programs they want “stitched” together, and the app then streams that content to the user’s mobile device. Pandora, according to the press release, is ” the most popular Internet radio service in the world. Users simply enter a favorite song or artist into Pandora and the app quickly creates personalized radio stations, based on that musical style.”
Pandora Founder Tim Westergren told WSJ.com “Maybe a year ago people would have said Pandora is a computer thing, Now, “they’re beginning to realize that Internet radio is an anytime, anywhere thing.”
Good news about Pandora at CES wasn’t just about the car though. Sony is debuting a personal Internet viewer called the Dash, which resembles the Chumby, and enables more than 1000 Chumby apps as well as Youtube and Pandora.